I'm home! This has definitely been an insane summer and I can't even explain how amazing it has been. Time really did fly and I cannot believe I am going back to school in just 4 days! It is going to be really difficult to recap all of my summer on here but I decided I would share a couple of prayers I had throughout the summer and some of my journal entries to help you get a glimpse of how God was working in my life in Santa Monica!
June 12, 2010
Heavenly Father, thank you for the heart of freedom you have given me. The friends you have blessed me with, and the money that you so quickly provided. It is obvious that I am supposed to be here and that you have something amazing in store for me. Prepare my heart to leave the past behind and to run forward. Bring peace and security to my soul, along with the motivation to pursue you and these new relationships. Cleanse me of my judgmental ways and purify my stained body. Thank you for your love and desire for my heart. Thank you for pushing me out of my comfort zone. Show me how to enjoy this and continually seek you. Prepare me for the future and show me what steps to take. Thank you for your grace and unconditional love, remind me each day. Calm my fears and take away my anxieties. Create in me a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Give me the desires and motivations to seek you with my whole heart. Develop in me a desire to learn and an attitude and comfort to get to know people on project and to be adventurous. Grow my heart for the lost and make that a strong passion and love that will last. Leave everything at home and draw me to you with arms high and heart abandoned. Renew in me a heart filled with the Holy Spirit. Teach me your ways, how to live in the spirit, and how to take on the fruits of the spirit. Guide me each day in who to talk to and how to spend my time. Let me open my lips to sing you praise and bring you glory in everything I do. Amen.
June 23, 2010
Lord, thank you for being loving, faithful, gracious, mighty, caring, comforting, and near. You have proclaimed these things in your word. I pray that you would reveal them to me daily. Thank you Father for valuing, loving, and redeeming me. Thank you for making me beautiful and giving me purpose. Remind me of these marvelous things you have done in my life and show me my worth. You have given me more than I could ever ask for or imagine. Show me how to express my thanks and live in such a way that represents your truth. Amen.
* I have never felt so loved and beautiful as I did this summer. Christ was able to show me how loved and special I am in His eyes and I can finally appreciate that!
June 30, 2010
Lord, I know you are charting a safe course for me. Show me what that looks like; to live for you, love like you, and follow you. Show me what it looks like specifically this summer. I want to completely focus on you and serve you to the fullest. Show me what that means and looks like. What do I need to do in order to follow you? Lord be clear and obvious, take me deeper, draw me nearer.
Take away my fears. Fears of the unknown, of where I am supposed to be, of who I am supposed to be, of what I am supposed to be doing, of how I am to follow and live for you. Make my treasure be you completely. Allow nothing else to interfere or come between us. I honestly feel completely lost and do not know what to do. Make it so clear God. Shove it in my face, slap me with it, make me see who I need to be. Amen.
* I realized that this plan I had for my life was my plan and not His plan. I wanted to know what He wanted and stop trying to figure it out, I was able to better understand where I need to be going and to quit planning it for myself.
July 14, 2010
Tonight is date night with Jesus and I have been really excited about it all day. I was actually fasting today for the first time ever. It was easier than I thought and such a testimony to God's strength for the energy that I had at work. I didn't go to sleep until 2 am last night and didn't eat today so I shouldn't have been able to function. God is good isn't He! I wanted to grow on project, but I didn't realize things would be so difficult at times. The song "I'm falling to pieces" is playing in Krispy Kreme and at first I thought yeah that's me, but in reality I am not because I have Jesus and with that faith also comes hope and certainty that everything will work out. Looking back on what has happened so far on project I am continually seeing how sinful I am. I have seen how judgmental I am towards other girls and even guys. I have also seen how refreshing it is to relax and let somebody else be in control in certain situations, now if only I can learn how to let God be completely in control. I have seen how nice and genuine I CAN be to people and how much better things are when I am that way. I have been learning to look at things from an eternal perspective instead of simply the dot that is my life. I just read Luke 6:45 about guarding your heart. The commentary says, "What is in your heart will come out in your speech and behavior." God is shaking my world right now in all of the feelings and thoughts I have had this far about my future. I need to remember that God's plan is far GREATER than my own and I must be confident in the fact that whatever I think is of this world and that whatever He thinks will always be perfect and will trump what I think. Hebrews 11:40 says, "God has planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect." Right now I just want to know what God's will is for my life but I am realizing more and more how much I just need to rest and wait on the Lord. It is crazy to analyze these things and really see how much I need to work on, especially to be more equipped as a bible study leader, but also knowing that I will never be fully equipped and it is only by God's grace that I have the opportunity to be in this position. I have realized how important it is for me to be strong and stand up for myself. There is so much to think about right now and I just want to be free here from all of these thoughts and worries. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6. Thank you for taking my pain and my anxieties.
July 23, 2010
Tonight we did one of the coolest things I have done. It was a treasure hunt evangelism style. We got into groups of 3 and 4. I was in a group with Annie, Cory, and Chris. Heather prayed for us and then we just sat quietly for 5-10 minutes praying and listening to what God was telling us through words, pictures, songs, or anything in general we thought of we would write down. We shared our words with each other and decided where we were going to start. Some of the words we had were yellow, white moving truck, cannons, Colorado, trees, food, McDonalds, dancing, Ferris wheel, cotton candy, Rage Against the Machine, and many more. So we started down California towards the pier. On the way we saw a white moving truck turn onto 8th street or so. We decided we had to follow it. It parked shortly after turning and the guys tried to talk to them. Unfortunately they didn’t speak English and asked us to leave. We kept walking and realized that McDonald’s is on the road named Colorado so we decided to head there. On the way we noticed the Whole Foods on the corner of a street covered in trees. We went that way to McDonalds and found a homeless man eating a sandwich. We started talking to him and learned that he grew up Baptist and believes that God is taking care of him. Chris had felt like he was supposed to grab chips at the church and ended up giving them to this guy. We had a nice long talk with him and prayed with him before heading to the McDonalds. We got there and Annie and I were headed to the restroom when the guys noticed one of 3 guys sitting on the curb outside. He was reading something so they went to ask what it was…the Bible! He ended up being a Christian from Kentucky who dropped everything, got on a bus and came to Santa Monica to witness to homeless people. He was so encouraged y the guys talking to him and he didn’t know what time or day it was but had enough money to survive on his own. We decided to keep walking and noticed a cannon by the pier. We stood around there for minute and Cory talked to a pretty crazy guy who just wanted money and food. We kept walking down the pier when we came across some guys break dancing to Rage Against the Machine. The ferris wheel and cotton candy were to their left and there were some girls sitting on a yellow curb. Annie and I really wanted to talk to someone and had been praying for God to show us who. We tried to talk to a lady who did not speak English. I had noticed these other two girls and we decided to give it a try. I can barely remember what really happened because it was so awesome. We just started talking about the dancers and what they were doing here. We found out that they were from Arizona about 45 minutes away from Annie. They were in high school and looking at going to UofA. They asked if we were Christian’s and we were able to tell them what we were doing this summer and specifically that night. They were catholic and within the last year became really involved in the youth group program at their church. They felt like God had worked in their lives so much and that He brought us to them. It was extremely encouraging talking about being a Christian in college, and about what God has been doing in their lives. We prayed with them and Annie gave them he number to talk about UofA it was so encouraging to see how God placed and guided us to all of these wonderful people.
August 10, 2010
Everything that I learned this summer revolves around one word, surrender. I have learned what it means to fully surrender all things to God and give him the entirety of my heart. I realized how many things I had made idols in my life that I hadn't even noticed at the time. In coming to this realization and having to truly give up these things so that they were no longer hindrances in my relationship with Him I was able to learn the importance of relying on God. My thoughts and actions are not my own and I should seek and trust Him in all things. The one thing I really wanted to get out of project internally was how to be intimate with God. Through being completely reliant on Him I have learned to pray more and really come to the Lord with anything and everything that is on my mind. In regards to evangelism my thoughts have really changed. I now better understand how to naturally evangelize. I am more equipped to listen and ask questions as well as how to transfer into the gospel. It is so important to share our faith with others and it really can be easy. Be open and friendly and really pray for opportunities to share. My life literally completely changed this summer and I am trusting God that He will continue to guide me and make each step clear. I can't do anything alone so Lord step in and take over. I am ready and willing to follow you.
* This summer truly was amazing and I have learned so much and grown in so many ways that I could not have even imagined before! God is so good and He is always near! I have had so much joy this summer and I know that it is all from Him and I am so thankful for what He has done and is continuing to do in my life! If you have any questions please feel free to ask I cannot wait to continue sharing my experiences! God flipped my world upside down this summer and I am so excited to see where He takes me!!
"The deeper you and I are rooted in the unfailing love of God, the less we sway when the winds of life blow harshly." Beth Moore
"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:6-9